When you leave the office, the last thing you want to do is bring the day’s stresses into your home. Start by leaving as much as you can at the office, and listen to classical music, your favorite CD or just silence on the way home so you don’t hear annoying commercials or songs. Then make your home a peaceful, stress-free place by following the tips below.
Organize your home
When you have time, organize a small space so you feel less stressed during the weekdays. Purchase colorful folders and a binder or filing box and file your bills, medical records, pets’ records, insurance policies and other important papers. Put clothes and shoes you no longer wear in bags to donate to charity, and put all of your jewelry in its proper place. Store seasonal items in the attic and get rid of things you no longer need. For 10 minutes each day, clear out clutter – any clutter – from one room.
Decompress for a few minutes
Each day when you get home from work, excuse yourself to a bedroom or quiet section of the house and take deep breaths for a few minutes. Leave the lights off if necessary or listen to relaxing music to clear your head from meddlesome thoughts.
Keep work separate
If you can’t leave work completely at the office, set up your own “office hours” at home when you will check and respond to emails. Keep work-related technology and papers in your home office or just out of sight of your home’s living spaces.
Make over your bedroom
Just as you keep your work out of your living space, keep your living space out of your bedroom, making it a stress-free, relaxing spot to unwind. Clean your room thoroughly, and remove the television, computer and any cell phones from the bedroom. Block out the light using heavy curtains or blinds that close completely. Paint your room in a calming shade of soft blue, green, purple or taupe, and purchase ultra-comfortable, luxurious bed linens. Install a ceiling fan, as cooler night temperatures will help you rest and relax.
Cook meals on the weekends
Part of weekday stress involves wondering what you will have for dinner, if you have the ingredients on hand and if you have time to make something. Take the guesswork out of weekday dinners by scouring weekday recipe sites such as KraftRecipes.com or Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food site and shopping for ingredients on the weekends. Or, look at sites such as Once a Month Mom to learn how to cook entire meals on a free Saturday or Sunday and store them in the freezer. Either thaw them overnight in the fridge or cook them straight from the freezer by adjusting the temperature and cooking time.
Indulge in aromatherapy
Essential oils in chamomile, lavender, marjoram, neroli, sandalwood and ylang ylang reduce anxiety and relax you, so look for those ingredients in candles and light air fresheners for scenting your home.
Create better lighting
Harsh lighting can make us feel rushed or put under a spotlight. Create a serene atmosphere by installing inexpensive dimmer switches (found at home supply or hardware stores) or replacing overhead lights with lamps. Make sure lampshades are a muted or thick off-white, beige or tan instead of bright or transparent white.